GARO THE ANIMATION
Episode 23

by Gabriella Ekens,

Boobs are scary. At least that's what someone working on GARO THE ANIMATION seems to think, considering the sheer volume of breast-based horror going on this episode. From mecha-Octavia's nipple talons to Anima's Unit 001-but-more-yonic design, can our heroes combat the wrath of the Boob Dimension?

At this point, GARO has mostly excused itself from pathos to indulge in full-on apocalypto mode. The Earth is encased in a permanent night, an enormous black structure has appeared in the sky, and there's tons of Bloody Cross imagery everywhere for no reason. It's a return to the show's roots as an animated heavy metal album cover, and anyone who's into this show for its artistry will be satisfied.

However, this episode was dragged down by a number of strange narrative hiccups. The first is Germán's apparent death. I'm not going to call him dead for sure yet since it happened off-screen, and anything that goes down there is not to be trusted, but it looks like Mendoza has turned him into jelly for Anima's breakfast. If this is real, it's been coming for a while. Post-reconciliation with León, there isn't a lot for Germán to do within the story's emotional trajectory besides kick the bucket. He's already slept with Ximena to impregnate her with the next Makai Knight Zoro, so it won't be too much of a loss. Thanks for the memories, Sex Dad.

Octavia's design might have also been too much. It looked cool for the most part, but those nipple talons! GARO's been fairly progressive in its treatment of female sexuality so far, so it's a bit disappointing to see Octavia turned into a cartoon vamp. She orgasms while jamming Mendoza's severed hand into her chest, but at least they animate the heck out of her. In hindsight, her character motivation doesn't make a lot of sense. Horrors killed her family, so she hates Makai Knights? I get that she's supposed to despise Makai Knights because they weren't there to save her family, but it's a flimsy reason to drive her toward Mendoza, a man whose power is summoning Horrors. But who am I to doubt the temptation of wrinkly old man flesh?

If Ema is dead, I will be angry. I don't care who else dies in this show so long as Ema survives. She is the best character by a mile. Even if she doesn't, at least they took down most of the rest of the cast to justify her death. That's Germán, Mendoza, Octavia, and maybe Alfonso down? Out of all of those I doubt that Alfonso is really out. His duties as prince are too important to the narrative. Also, GAROBOT makes its glorious return. Maybe it could take over the throne.

GARO's finale might be sound and fury signifying nothing, but at least it looks hella rad doing it. Seriously – it looks great. GARO has remarkable fight scenes when the team gives it their all. The direction and animation are remarkable this episode. They even integrate the CG suits a little better than usual (mostly through longshots). Kazuyuki Hashimoto continues to be the show's ace – his work with lighting conveys the brunt of the show's emotional content.

You don't have to be Shakespeare to be entertaining.

Grade: B+

GARO THE ANIMATION is currently streaming on Funimation.

Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.


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